The Aquatic Gazette

Ecoxotic LED for Nano I

In Project Nanos on August 7, 2012 at 00:01

Ecoxotic LED Aluminium Arm

Approx Measurements: 10 inches long | 3 inches wide | 4.5 inches tall
Total Watts: 9 watts, will be increased to 27 watts.
Light Spectrum: 12,000K White

The Ecoxotic LED arm is for aquariums that are around 30cm in size. LED arms for such nano tanks exist, but as LEDs are still not as cheap to produce as the common fluorescent light, some companies have decided to use vastly inferior LEDs in order to price their products cheaply. This has created quite a fair deal of discontentment with aquarists who have used these inferior products, as they expect LEDs to last the usual 50,000 hours and not to lose lighting intensity after 500 hours. The LEDs found in the Ecoxotic are of good quality, able to output optimal lighting intensity for 50,000 hours. With a photoperiod of 8 hours a day, that works out to slightly more than 17 years!

The LED arm comes with one LED strip, and every LED strip is 9 watts of light. Ecoxotic smartly engineered the LED arm to have space for another 2 strips, allowing a total of 27 watts of light. Some aquarists have gone even further and have proven that it is possible to squeeze another 2 strips at the edges for a grand total of 5 strips or 45 watts of light. At the start of Nano I, I mentioned that it will be a low-tech aquascape, however, a high-tech aquascape will do all the equipment better justice. I have thus decided to go that route and have ordered two more LED strips which will boost it to 27 watts of light.

The Ecoxotic LED arm’s main strength is its design. With today’s popularity of rimless aquariums that emphasises a minimalistic and clean look, aided by unobtrusive equipment, a lighting unit which takes the conspicuous spot on top of the aquarium requires an appropriate design to fit into that minimalistic concept.

Some aquatic companies have also hopped unto the LED bandwagon, but they seem to be happy to house them in housings that will hold a compact fluorescent tube. In contrast, the Ecoxotic LED arm is sleek and metal sheet thin, with the advantage of the minute size of LEDs played fully.

When using the Ecoxotic LED arm with the Mini S, the combination works perfectly. The structure and thickness of the LED arm flows with the similar structure of an aquarium and the choice of a curvature, rather than a right angle, takes away the tension in design that is critical as it occupies a conscious space.

At the legs of the LED arm, where the arm grips the tank, Ecoxotic has used good quality rubber to prevent the aluminum legs from damaging your tank wall. The black rubber matches the LED arm perfectly and I didn’t realised the use of rubber till I inspected that area. As, rubber is waterproof there will not be any degradation of the material over time. This is unlike other light units which utlise plastic to hold their light units to the tank wall, as the paint on the plastic often comes off because of its constant contact with the aquarium’s waters. The width of the rubberize aluminum legs have been designed to fit aquarium walls of thickness 6mm or less. On the Mini S which is just 5mm thick, the arm fitted nicer, there is no need to use the provided screw arm.

The intensity emitted by the LED arm is good and it does look brighter than 9 watts from a compact fluorescent tube, partly due to the pinpoint nature of LEDs. When I get my hands on the extra 18 watts of LEDs, it’s going to be dazzling. The combination of a top end LED light unit, coupled with a masterly crafted tank is just spectacular. I can’t wait for the tank to be filled and to have the aquascape shimmering!

 

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